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Pilates: Five Invigorating Exercises Using A Balance Ball

Pilates: Five Invigorating Exercises Using A Balance Ball

Follow these five invigorating Pilates exercises using a balance ball to make you feel refreshed and revived. VideoJug shows you how to invigorate yourself using Pilates in your day to day exercise routine.

Step 1: You will need

  • 1 balance ball
  • 1 exercise mat
  • some comfortable clothing

Step 2: Exercise One: Reaches

Step 3: To prepare

Sit down on the centre of the ball with your feet hip distance apart and arms relaxed by your sides. Adjust your position so that you are sat upright with the pelvis neutral and rib cage down.

Step 4: Breathing

You will inhale deeply through the nose to prepare, aiming the breath towards the back of the rib cage and exhale twice, deeply through the mouth as you perform the movement.

When you exhale, think of flattening the abdominal region. Imagine gently pulling your belly button towards your spine.

This exercise will be performed over two breaths.

Step 5: The exercise

Inhale here then as you exhale raise your arms over your head.

Inhale stay, exhale reach one hand towards the ceiling, inclining your head up and stretching your side.

Inhale return to the centre, exhale and alternate to the other side.

Repeat this ten times in total - five with each arm - being careful of not letting your shoulders rise.

When you finish, inhale again in the centre, thinking of growing from the top of your head, exhale and bring the arms back down.

Step 6: Exercise Two: Bouncing

Step 7: To prepare

Slowly begin to bounce on the ball. Don't make this action too big and keep your back upright while doing so. You will need to use your abdominal muscles and pelvic floor muscle throughout.

Step 8: Breathing

You will inhale over four bounces and exhale over a following four.

Step 9: The exercise

Maintain the bounce and as you inhale, swing your arms backwards and forwards four times, as if you were walking briskly, then exhale over a following four swings.

In total, do ten breaths - five inhalations and five exhalations - maintaining the constant bounce and rhythm of the arms throughout.

To finish, gradually slow down the bounce and the movement of the arms until you stop.

Tip - this is a great exercise if you've recently had a baby.

Step 10: Exercise Three: The Crawl

Step 11: To prepare

Readjust your position on the ball if necessary.

This exercise takes its name from the front crawl and back crawl in swimming as those are the actions you'll be doing.

Step 12: Breathing

The same principles apply as before. This exercise will be performed over 2 breaths.

Step 13: The exercise

Inhale and reach one arm forward and up, exhale take the arm back and around, rotating your body to move with the arm.

Inhale, reach the other arm forward and up, exhale take it back and around.

Repeat the same thing six times - three times on each side.

Then reverse. Inhale to take the arm back and up, rotating the body to move with the arm, exhale and bring it over and forwards.

Do the same thing with the other arm - and repeat three times to each side.

Step 14: Exercise Four: Squats

Step 15: To prepare

Walk your feet out in front, sliding down the ball as you go and bending your knees until you reach a 'squat'.

Reach your arms in front of you to parallel with your legs. This is your starting position.

Step 16: Breathing

This exercise will also be performed over 2 breaths.

Step 17: The exercise

Inhale to prepare, then as you exhale push back on the ball and extend your thighs.

Inhale to return back down, exhale to do the same thing again.

Repeat this eight times in total, concentrating on maintaining your abs firm, shoulders down and neck aligned.

When you finish, return to sitting.

Step 18: Exercise Five: Lift and Lengthen

Step 19: To prepare

Lie down on your mat